Whitney Players
PO Box 185644
Hamden CT 06518
Contact Information
Address PO Box 185644
Hamden, CT 06518-
Telephone (203) 281-6007 x
Fax 0-NA
E-mail thewhitneyplayers@thewhitneyplayers.org
Web and Social Media
In Summer the Southern Connecticut Premier of this musical 2013 brought together 90+ actors and more than 2,000 audience members

Mission
The Whitney Players Theater Company is a group of artists dedicated to bringing affordable, quality entertainment to the Hamden community while educating young actors through music, dance and drama.  The program is designed to integrate area professional actors with the youth from our community.  Our goal is to provide professional acting, dance and musical instruction while forming a company and producing a full length entertaining musical.  The goal for the young people is to learn from this experience and grow as performers.
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 2004
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Cindy Simell-Devoe
Board Chair Janet Maruca
Board Chair Company Affiliation Optum
Financial Summary
 
Projected Revenue $188,000.00
Projected Expenses $188,000.00
Statements
Mission The Whitney Players Theater Company is a group of artists dedicated to bringing affordable, quality entertainment to the Hamden community while educating young actors through music, dance and drama.  The program is designed to integrate area professional actors with the youth from our community.  Our goal is to provide professional acting, dance and musical instruction while forming a company and producing a full length entertaining musical.  The goal for the young people is to learn from this experience and grow as performers.
Background The program is designed to integrate area professional actors with the youth from our community.  Our goal is to provide professional acting, dance and musical instruction while forming a company and producing a full length entertaining musical.  The goal for the young people is to learn from this experience and grow as performers.
Impact
In Summer 2017 the Whitney Players produced Seussical, the delightful stories of Dr. Seuss' Horton the Elephant, the Whos and Mayzie la Bird, with a diverse and vibrant company of more than 60 ranging in age from 6 to 86. In keeping with the Company's commitment to education, older and more experienced actors helped train the younger participants in acting, preparation techniques and stage etiquette. Now in its 16th season, the Whitney Players has laid a foundation of skills for many young actors, who consistently have leading roles in school and community productions in the area. Four young people who started with the Whitney Players as young teens are now on national tours with professional theatre companies.
 
In Winter 2017, the Whitney Players produced two versions of Cinderella.  Disney's Cinderella Kids featured a cast ages 13 and under, while the Prince Street Players' Cinderella's cast was older teens and adults.  In keeping iwth the educational mission, the older cast served as mentors for the younger cast, discussing character development and make-up techniques.  The younger cast brought an energy and youthful perspective to the timeless roles. 
 
The 2017 Summer camp hosted 100 children ages 5 to 16 together for a whirlwind two weeks to produce Shrek, Jr. Participants have the chance to learn all aspects of production, and thrill audience with the quality of the production that they mastered in nine camp days!
 
The Company completed another set of acting workshops for young people in December 2016. The goal of these workshops is to reach new youngsters to inspire not only acting ability, but confidence, poise and creativity.  In small groups the participants work on improvisation, scene work and staging. They showcase their work in short vignettes that allow students to explore different characters and situations. 
Needs
1. Finding affordable, accessible rehearsal and performance space as well as storage space for costumes, props and scenery.  Acting workshops need a small space that is available consistently.  In order to keep the cost down for parents, it is ideal to find space for no cost.  Performances are held at Hamden High School, Hamden Middle School or Thornton Wilder Auditorium at the Miller Library.  While they provide adequate seating and technical capabilities, the cost of using these spaces limits the number of rehearsals and performances.
2. A volunteer to help with marketing.   
3. Follow spots.  Used spotlights cost $2000-$3000, and the Whitney Players need two. This would save on semi-annual rental cost and would generate revenue between productions because the Company could rent them to others in need.
4. Scholarships for young people to participate in shows, workshops and camp.  Ranging from $140 to $250, scholarships ensure that families with more than one interested child and those with low income can participate.
5. Actors, Actresses, Theatre Technicians, Ushers and friends of all ages and abilities.
 
 
CEO Statement

The Whitney Players Theater Company is a unique artistic and educational resource for Hamden, Greater New Haven, and beyond.  We offer youngsters of all ages, from preschool and elementary school through middle school, high school and college the opportunity to learn all aspects of theater from performance to production. They learn through classes, and they learn by doing as cast members in our productions.  They learn by working on stage with experienced adult performers.  Our youngsters develop skills and talents that often propel them to feature roles in middle, high school and college productions.  More than that, they develop self-confidence and poise that will serve them well throughout their lives, whether they choose to pursue theatrical careers or not.

Our community also benefits greatly because Whitney Players musical theater productions provide affordable, high quality entertainment.  In fact, we offer Broadway quality at community theater prices.  Our shows over the last decade have included popular and powerful musicals such as West Side Story, Hairspray, Annie, Beauty and the Beast, The Wiz, Damn Yankees and Anything Goes.  We routinely play to sold out venues and enthusiastic audiences who have told us many times that our productions are as good if not better than what they have seen on Broadway.  More important than this kind of praise is the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that the youngsters in our productions receive when the hard work they have put in is displayed on stage for all to see and appreciate.

As a community-based non-profit organization, we face a continuing challenge of finding the funding and support to be able to put on productions of such high quality.  Quality is not inexpensive, but we do everything it takes to offer the community theatrical productions that are they best they can be.  With the continued support of our community, The Whitney Players Theater Company will continue to provide the unique artistic and educational experience that we have consistently offered our students, cast members, and audiences since we started our company.

Board Chair Statement

Running a nonprofit is difficult during good times, but especially difficult during a recession. Since the inception of The Whitney Players in 2003, the expenses for putting on a full length musical have increased 200%. Unfortunately, at the same time, parents are finding it more difficult to pay for their child’s tuition and advertisers are having a much more difficult time finding funds for local advertising. Our company relies heavily on ad sales and registration fees. We do not have our own rehearsal/performance space and every time we rent a local school, the fees are higher than the preceding show. As much as the costs go up, the people we need to serve grow in numbers. There are more children who can benefit from our program if we have the scholarships in place to assist with their registration costs. Some families have multiple children and can only afford to sign one up for each program. Other families have had to cut back on their children’s involvement with the arts to make ends meet within their own families. We are constantly trying to help these families out. It is our desire to be able to allow any child with an interest in the arts to participate in our program, but production costs have made this very difficult. 

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Theater
Secondary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Arts Education
Areas Served
Bethany
Cheshire
East Haven
Guilford
Hamden
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
Wallingford
West Haven
Woodbridge
Ansonia
Madison
Milford
There are no geographic limitations to participation in the Whitney Players, although most participants come from the Greater Hamden area.  Audiences are attracted from throughout the region.
Programs
Description
Each summer, for the last fourteen years, The Whitney Players has produced an all-ages major musical theatre performance.  Cast members have ranged in age from 4 to 86 years, in keeping the the company's commitment to providing mentors for younger actors.  Shows have included Anything Goes, Damn Yankees, The Wiz, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Back to the 80s, Willie Wonka, Annie, West Side Story, Hairspray, Shrek, Young Frankenstein and Seussical the Musical.  The troupe has grown from a cast of 50-60 at Hamden's Miller Library Thornton Wilder Auditorium to 90 at the Hamden Middle School to now more than 100 at Hamden High School.  Productions have attracted audiences from throughout the region.
Population Served General/Unspecified / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
Performances will attract a diverse audience which sustains the program
Actors of all ages benefit from working with a professional director, music director and choreographer
Young people engage in a positive activity that helps them build confidence for public speaking, socialization and a appreciation for teamwork
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
-More people in the region have access to high-quality, affordable theatre
-Young people from throughout Greater New Haven will have an opportunity to work alongside seasoned actors to learn about theatre protocol, discipline, organization and confidence
-Seasoned actors will have an opportunity to participate in high quality theatrical productions while sharing their craft with young people
 
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
Ticket sales
Geographic base of ticket buyers
Repeat registration of young performers
Artistic growth of young people based on auditions
Ability of youth performers to gain roles in school and other community productions
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
The summer of 2015 brought new audiences to the Whitney Players, to see Hairspray, an inspiring story that addresses prejudice and injustice.  The diverse cast and audience shared an experience that delivered an important message. In terms of actors, technicians and audience, this attracted from a broad geographic reach. 
Description
Typically, the winter production is cast with actors 18 and under.  These productions have given young actors who have ensemble experience in the summer productions with an opportunity to hold lead roles.  Productions have included Disney's High School Musical (CT's first production), Godspell, Pippin, Seussical, Jungle Book, Footloose, Back to the 80s, Honk, Jr., and Into the Woods, Jr. 
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
The long-term goals for this program are as diverse as the young people it serves.  Being part of a theatre company can instill confidence and poise in an awkward youth; can create lasting friendships and a place to fit in for those who may be introverted and uncomfortable in other social settings; can hone the talents of truly gifted youth to enable them to excel in other productions. 
Description
Offered to actors ages 6 to 15, workshops give young people an opportunity to hone their performance skills, build self-confidence, exercise creativity and build a team culture in a non-pressured environment.  Classes are held in improvisation technique, scene work, and short one-acts.  Each workshop culminates in a showcase performance at Hamden's Thornton Wilder Auditorium.
Population Served / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
One pre-teen young lady was enrolled in the Whitney Players by her mother.  Her mother recognized that her daughter was very shy and had trouble making friends.  She was starting down a road of depression and detachment.  At the conclusion of her first show (a children's ensemble member) she had opened up to a few close friends and was able to enjoy the accolades she received for her performance.  In her four years with the company, she has grown into a confident young woman who takes the younger actors under her wing and strives for inclusion for all participants.  She has taken on (masterfully) roles of greater importance.
Description
A crash course for young people, ages 6 to 16, to learn all aspects of theatrical production.  In summer 2016, campers produced the play The Beauty and the Beast, Jr. to sold out audiences at the Hamden Middle School.  During the camp, they learned about acting and singing techniques, costuming, lighting, and working with a set.
Population Served / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Description
The Whitney Players provides affordable rental of properties and costumes from past shows to schools and other local theatre companies.  An affordable alternative to commercial rentals, this provides local companies with additional resources while providing a small revenue stream for The Whitney Players.
Population Served / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals No
Program Comments
CEO Comments Hamden Patch came in to learn what the Whitney Players is all about during rehearsal for West Side Story.  See the story and video at the link below. 

http://hamden.patch.com/articles/somethings-coming-for-the-whitney-players#video-7243166

 The New Haven Register visited Summer Camp during the production of Cinderella.  Young performers express their feelings about being in the show, and give a free sample in the article below!http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2011/07/08/entertainment/doc4e161368b48f3332265849.txt

 

CEO/Executive Director
Cindy Simell-Devoe
Term Start May 2003
Email cindysdevoe@comcast.net
Experience

Cindy worked as the Assistant Director at Act 2 Theatre on the Albertus Magnus College campus under the direction of Albert DeFabio for 12 years. Her tenure there includes such productions as Evita, Guys and Dolls, Company, Pippin and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Other shows have included Little Shop of Horrors, Camelot, Anything Goes, Godspell, Runaways, The Wiz, Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story and Cabaret. Cindy directed student productions of Vanities, Same Time Next Year and Bleacher Bums.

  Cindy received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Performing Arts from Albertus Magnus. She was the Co-Director of the Rabbit Hutch Day Care for twenty years and has taught Theatre Games and Creative Dramatics after-school classes at Ridge Road School in North Haven and Shepherd Glen in Hamden.

    Cindy directed the Whitney Players premier production of Damn Yankees in 2003, followed by Anything Goes, The Wiz, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Odd Couple (Female Version), High School Musical, Beauty and the Beast, The Magical Land of Oz, Back to the 80s: The Awesome Musical, Seussical, Jr., Willy Wonka, Godspell, Annie, Pippin ,The Jungle Book, West Side Story, Footloose, Hairspray, Godspell, Jr., 13-The Musical and Shrek-The Musical. In keeping with the educational mission of the company, she has conducted fun yet intensive acting workshops, each involving more than two dozen young people in drama coaching through the production of small, one act plays, and plans another workshop for the fall.

   She also directed Guys and Dolls, Jr. and Footloose at the High Lane Club as well as The Magical Land of Oz at West Woods School in Hamden with a cast and crew of over 180 children. Cindy also directed The Jungle Book for North Haven’s Ridge Road School.

 

Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 150
Number of Contract Staff 3
Staff Retention Rate 100%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 0
Unspecified 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation N/A
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Collaborations
The Whitney Players cooperates with other local theatrical presenters, sharing cast members, props, scenery and resources including Albertus Magnus's Act 2, Hamden High School Mainstage Ensemble, the Round Table Players, Sacred Heart Academy, Center Stage and Marrakech.  It has collaborated with various for-profit hair and make-up salons and schools, providing educational opportunities for beauticians as well as for the young people involved in shows.
Comments
CEO Comments
Figures above are left blank because there is no professional staff in the Whitney Players organization.
Board Chair
Janet Maruca
Company Affiliation Optum
Term July 2015 to June 2018
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Joan Christensen Joni's Dance Center
Clara Ianniello Retired
Annette Simell Retired
Ms. Cindy Simell-Devoe
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 5
Standing Committees
Program / Program Planning
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start June 01 2017
Fiscal Year End May 31 2018
Projected Revenue $188,000.00
Projected Expenses $188,000.00
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$151,249$126,772$131,662
Administration Expense$18,030$22,524$16,500
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.060.920.97
Program Expense/Total Expenses89%85%89%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets----$10,923
Current Assets----$10,923
Long-Term Liabilities----$7,200
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$1,494($7,992)$3,723
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets----66%
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
CEO Comments
The Whitney Players is under the threshold of those nonprofits required by the State of Connecticut to conduct an audit.  This can be a rather costly endeavor. The Whitney Players does, however, engage an independent CPA to prepare the organization's annual Form 990 for the Internal Revenue Service.
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address PO Box 185644
Hamden, CT 06518
Primary Phone 203 281-6007
CEO/Executive Director Cindy Simell-Devoe
Board Chair Janet Maruca
Board Chair Company Affiliation Optum

 

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